At Copado, we believe that people are the code. A well-functioning team can surmount any obstacle — technology just makes it easier. Through DevOps principles, we provide higher levels of informational visibility, collaboration and communication. These are the tools that our teams can use to grow.
DevOps optimization begins from the ground up. It's not just about building a tech stack, it's about laying the cultural foundation for digital transformation. When you think about CI/CD, do you think strictly in terms of code deployments? Or do you think about extending CI/CD principles into an encompassing philosophy of iterative, continuous innovation and improvement?
Today, we're going to look at a few DevOps optimization tricks that will unlock your team's potential for innovation.
1. Consider the "Why" Behind the "What"
Is your team confused? Slow? That's a symptom, not an illness. The cure is building situational awareness. To do so, it's not enough to address “what” is happening to your team — you have to address “why.”
To lead teams successfully, you need to be able to communicate the rationale behind your decisions. Without this information, team members cannot adapt to surprises — and they can’t help you predict and avoid potential stumbling blocks. True situational awareness is more than just observing your surroundings. It means empowering the entire team to adapt to an evolving situation.
Without understanding your rationale, a team can appear confused when, in reality, team members just don't have the correct data. A project may run slowly, but it may have nothing to do with the employees and everything to do with critical inefficiencies baked into existing processes. If people only have enough information to follow instructions, they won’t be able to provide insights on how to improve processes. They also might not understand why things need to be done a certain way when it seems more difficult.
Without understanding why something is happening, you can't address the real problem. You end up papering over cracks that will soon reappear. Innovation can only begin once you lay the proper foundation.
2. Encourage Continuous Feedback
Achieving CI/CD means breaking up your release into small increments — and moving commits into a deployable state as quickly as possible. Although it relies on pipelines, CI/CD is not a linear process. It’s an iterative one driven by continuous feedback. Through continuous feedback, developers can remain agile and responsive to the needs of the end-users.
But continuous feedback doesn’t just make your CI/CD processes better. It's part of building a culture of digital transformation. By getting feedback from employees "on the ground" and trusting them within their specialization, you create an entire company that is agile and ready to pivot.
In an age of disruption, being competitive means preparing to embrace change at all levels.
3. Get Rid of Information Silos
Collaboration and communication lead to innovation. To increase your collaboration, get rid of information silos. To make informed decisions, your team needs access to data. Use a platform that provides all departments and all team members with the information they need in a form that’s easy to access and understand.
Informational transparency is what drives both collaboration and innovation. When everyone is aware of the project's status, they can see not only what's happening but also potential bottlenecks that may arise. When data flows freely from department to department, team members have the context they need to spot opportunities or propose useful changes.
4. Think About Time as Resource
Quality gates, automated testing and other CI/CD practices protect the one development resource there’s never enough of — time. The more time your team has free for innovation, the better results you'll receive.
For example, you can create and optimize quality gates, both manual and automated. Quality gates can save developers time and reduce time-to-deploy by ensuring products meet certain standards before they’re deployed.
When employees no longer spend hours fixing defects or performing repetitive tasks, they can focus on innovating new features and making more substantial improvements.
5. Fully Integrate Your Tech Stack
Create a complete ecosystem for your development and deployment needs. Using a single, integrated ecosystem reduces confusion and speeds up development.
Innovation occurs when the stars align — when it's easier to get the job done, when everyone is on the same page, and when you can identify challenges quickly. A fully integrated tech stack will support information flow, improve automation, and increase information transparency.
6. Build a Team You Can Trust
Hire the right people, empower them to do their jobs and everything works like a well-oiled machine. By being a strong leader, trusting your team and creating open lines of communication, you foster a culture of innovators.
Team members hesitate to innovate when they are concerned about doing the "wrong" thing. If they don't feel confident in their information or abilities, they won't engage in the process. If they aren’t trusted to try new things and fix mistakes, they won’t. Trust is what empowers team members to act; technology is what lets them balance innovation and quality. If teams can catch and fix mistakes quickly, they can try new things without derailing the whole project.
7. Get Used to Over-Delivering
Don't just hit targets. Exceed them. Plan with the expectancy that you'll blast through expectations each time—rather than trying to come in just under the wire. A culture of over-achievement prioritizes continuous improvement. Team members aren't just looking to get the job done; they're looking at how to get it done better and faster.
Celebrate wins and acknowledge your team. Innovation comes both from preparedness and passion.
Unlock Your Team's Innovation Potential with DevOps Optimization
To achieve true DevOps optimization, you must first acquire a team-first mindset: make it easier for a team to work together and inspire them to strive for the best.
A tech stack alone is not enough to unlock the full potential of DevOps. An organization reaches true digital transformation when its people, processes, and technology work in concert to support one another.